This I Believe

Krista - Bowling Green, Ohio
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

Devin Broadbent is nineteen years old. He enjoys reading, writing, as well as traveling. In 2006, he graduated from GlenOak High School in Canton, Ohio, and he is currently working in Costa Rica. He has plans to return to the United States and attend college in Ohio, majoring in English. He has also endured cystic fibrosis since he was born. If a cure was discovered, perhaps Devin, and thirty thousand other United States citizens living with cystic fibrosis, could someday hope to live long enough to know their grandchildren.

Cystic Fibrosis is a hereditary chronic disease of the exocrine glands, characterized by the production of viscid mucus that obstructs the pancreatic ducts and bronchi, leading to infection and fibrosis. This causes progressive disability and early death. The lifespan expectancy of a person with this disease is 37.5 years.

It is my firm belief that the United States government, along with every country in the world, should focus entirely on medical advancement. When millions of people across the globe are suffering from cancer, diabetes, AIDS, cystic fibrosis, and various other diseases, the wars, conflicts, and terrorism seem very insignificant. Governments of every nation must think about what matters most, and guaranteed it is not riches, oil, or nuclear weapons. The government has procrastinated far too long in finding a cure for modern diseases. For example, the government is only partially concerned about a disease called avian influenza, which has the capacity to evolve into a global pandemic. Even though this is a serious issue, turning on the television, I am more likely to view a headline about the war in Iraq.

One of the goals of the government is to protect the lives of their citizens, which is a major justification for America’s involvement in the war. About five hundred people in America die from cystic fibrosis per year. If the government’s goal for protecting the lives of the American people is true, they should be deeply concerned about their citizens with diseases. When no cure exists for a disease such as cystic fibrosis, the lives of the people living with this disease are not protected in the least.

Thomas Jefferson incorporated a famous phrase in the Declaration of Independence: “all men are created equal.” The United States government is responsible for insuring this policy for its citizens. The United States is also a country known for equal opportunities. If this is true, every American citizen should have an equal opportunity at life, including people faced with the affliction of cystic fibrosis or any other disease without a cure. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is another popular phrase that can be found in the Declaration of Independence. This phrase is based upon the ideas of an English philosopher, better known as John Locke. Unfortunately, people with incurable diseases cannot fully indulge in these unalienable rights. Their right to life is severely infringed upon, and this is something that the United States government should be very troubled about, considering the government’s policy noted from the Declaration of Independence.

Devin would like to have children one day. However, ninety-seven percent of males suffering from cystic fibrosis are infertile. In my personal opinion, the three percent chance for reproduction does not seem very promising. It is clear that the solution for medical advancement lies in the hands of the government. It is imperative that the government put their priorities in order and discover that not only the health situation of America is threatened, but the unalienable rights of those with incurable diseases are jeopardized as well. Health issues may be obscured by other matters such as war at the moment, but it is still important nonetheless that the government surface these issues to find cures for diseases and solutions for arising dilemmas. I do not know if this will ever happen. However, there is one thing that I do know for sure: Devin would be grateful for it.